GCLR 2023 Distinguished Visitor Scholar Lecture this Thursday

by Adrienne Tsikewa, Graduate Programming Assistant
Monday, May 01, 2023 9:09 AM

UCSB Graduate Center for Literary Research invites you to the following upcoming lecture by Dr. Ursula K. Heise (UCLA): "Beyond Realism: Narrative and Environmental Crisis." This lecture will be held on Thursday, May 4 at 5pm in the Wallis Annenberg Conference Room (HSSB, Room 4315).

Environmental journalists, novelists, film-makers, and artists have traditionally preferred realist genres and styles to highlight the materiality and scientific grounding of environmental crisis. Over the last twenty years, this convention has increasingly come into question. On one hand, climate change and other rapidly evolving ecological crises have diminished the relevance of stories and images focused primarily on individuals and families, particular places, and events commonly considered plausible. On the other hand, narrative themes and plots from speculative fiction have increasingly spread into environmental journalism and nonfiction. Concepts such as the "new normal," the "New Weird,' and "hyperobjects" have sought to capture this altered type of realism. This lecture will explore the controversies around what kinds of realism is appropriate and effective in environmental communication today.

Ursula K. Heise teaches in the Department of English and at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. She is the Managing Editor of Futures of Comparative Literature: The ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline (Routledge, 2016) and co-editor of the Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities (2016). She is the editor of the book series, Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment (Palgrave-MacMillan) and co-editor of the series, Literature and Contemporary Thought (Routledge). She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and served as the 2011 President of the the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE). Her research and teaching focus on: contemporary literature; environmental culture in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan; narrative theory; media theory; literature and science; and science fiction.